—What if she dies while I’m away?
—You can’t stay home until she dies.
—I can’t leave either, while she’s alive.
—I don’t like where this is going.
—What would you do? Would you call me?
—What would you want me to do?
—How important is this trip?
—As important as everything else.
—Compared to death, not very.
—Compared to your death, sure, but hers?
—I want you to call me.
—And tell you what?
—And tell me she’s fine.
—I won’t know. Do it right.
—Tell you she’s had a big meal?
—Something. Some detail. Make me believe it.
—I could do that.
—And you’d forgive me.
—Should we call someone?
—What, a doctor?
—I didn’t think we’d get through this ourselves.
—No, you’re right. I don’t want her to suffer.
—No, you’re right.
—It’s good we’re having this talk.
—Do you think she’s suffering now?
—We can’t know.
—But if you had to say.
—From watching I’d have to guess yes.
—You couldn’t just tell me no?
—No, I know.
—Suppose it were me.
—Let’s not do that. Suppose it were me.
—Let’s not do that.
—However. If it were me,
—I thought we weren’t doing that.
—I’d have found a way out.
—That’s easy to say.
—Not so easy. Not to you.
—Because you’d be leaving me behind.
—I wouldn’t be enough to keep you.
—I’m just like you in that.
—That’s why we can agree on her.
—But should we help her?
—We are helping her.
—I want someone else to make this choice.
—I want you to.
—But make the choice I would make.
—Which choice is that?
—When you make it, we’ll both know.
—So, what have we decided?
Copyright © September 16, 2008 David Hodges